Kevin Hart to Host Relaunch of (Renamed) Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon

Kevin Hart MDA Telethon

The Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon has been revived, and now it will have some added Hart.

The MDA announced on Wednesday morning the relaunch of their legendary Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, with Kevin Hart serving as this year’s host.

The MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon, as the two-hour relaunch will be called, will air globally on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 8/7c, with celebrity appearances by Eva Longoria, Jack Black, Jillian Mercado, Josh Gad, Michael B. Jordan and Usain Bolt, among others. The telethon will support the essential work of both the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the host’s own Help From the Hart charity.

This mark’s the telethon’s first global telecast in more than six years. Comedian/actor/filmmaker Jerry Lewis was removed as host and national chairman in 2011, after iconically shepherding the event since its Labor Day 1966 inception; a truncated, six-hour telethon proceeded with co-hosts Nigel Lythgoe, Jann Carl, Alison Sweeney and Nancy O’Dell.

The following year, the traditional telethon (which in Lewis’ day could run more than 20 hours!) was replaced by a three-hour special, now called the MDA Show of Strength and hosted by O’Dell and local Los Angeles deejay Shawn Parr.

In 2013 and 2014, the MDA Show of Strength aired nationally on ABC for the first time — though the latter edition marked the telethon’s final broadcast. (Some local stations across the country have since continued the tradition, including this year, where MDA’s St. Louis chapter on Sept. 6 put on a locally produced, 90-minute telethon.)